Miami Lakes

One teenager dead and teen girl in critical condition after Dodge plunges into a lake

A 19-year-old died after a car with four teenagers plunged into a lake around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Miami-Dade police.

Driver Jonathan Perez and Kevin Placeres, each 18 years old, were able to get out of the Dodge Neon before Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units arrived at the 7000 block of Jacaranda Lane in Miami Lakes.

MDFR immediately transported a 15-year-old girl, Dezirea Joseph Gutierrez, to Palmetto General Hospital, then Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in critical condition.

Christopher Leyva, 19, was declared dead at Palmetto General. Miami-Dade police gave his name Sunday as “Christopher Jamie.”

At the crash scene Tuesday night, the families of Leyva and Dezirea shared grief. They told Herald news partner CBS4 that Leyva got free of the submerged car, but went back down to get Dezirea.

The friends were on their way to a party on the other side of the lake when the accident occurred, WPLG reported.

On social media, Dezirea’s grandmother said Wednesday afternoon that Dezirea was “awake and alert. She still has a long way to go.”

Dezirea’s relatives told WPLG that she was initially declared dead at the scene, but was revived.

Police are still investigating what caused the crash. A check of Miami-Dade and Broward traffic records shows no violations for the driver, Perez.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.


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